2015 word of the year

It’s all over the blogosphere … I see it everywhere on TV and in the newspaper.  No matter how I try to block it out—lalalalala—it keeps cropping up and taunting me: DECLUTTER. Is the universe trying to tell me something?

wood door to ?

I have a lot of neatnik friends (you are probably one of them) who will cringe at what I am about to reveal. Nevertheless, DIY blogging is about honest home-improvement experiences, so in the interest of full disclosure, let’s step through this portal of mystery into … the bedroom. (Cue the Psycho music.)


Now, I have never claimed to be a great housekeeper. Some (you’re thinking most) of what you see can be chalked up to that. However, I maintain that it’s largely because we are sorely lacking in closet space in this little bungalow. One hundred years ago, people didn’t have a lot of clothes. I, on the other hand, have a ton of clothes. A ton. In a couple different sizes (not unusual!). I’m no fashionista, but I buy a few new things every season … and fail to get rid of the old stuff because it’s perfectly good and I’m loath to toss it. And lazy. Things must change.


And I have more shoes, Eric jokes, than Imelda Marcos. Piffle! Okay, there are shoes in the closet … in racks on the back of both doors … in a storage tub under the bed … sitting next to the bed. I have shoes I haven’t even worn yet (not unusual … is it?).


You can see that the worst of the mess is clustered around one corner of the room, near my closet door, in what I affectionately call “the heap.” The closet door is blocked by a plastic storage tub containing extra pillows, which serves as a deterrent to a certain cat who likes to do unspeakable things in closets. This has the effect of making it a pain to open the closet door … so I toss onto the heap things that I should hang up.

How many big dresser drawers can you count? TEN. Ten overstuffed, good-sized drawers. Who has three dressers in her bedroom and still has a storage problem? This gal.

I know you’ll find this surprising, but my closet, despite being outfitted with a basic organizing system, is stuffed, too. But should I ever want to air it out, it has a window! Originally, it even had a tiny wall-mounted corner sink. The pipes are still there, behind the clothes. Somewhere.

crowded closet

Does this mess bug me? Of course it does! (Even though it’s of my own making.) One’s bedroom is supposed to be a place of serene calm, not an eyesore! Clearly, the universe’s DECLUTTER message is meant for me, so here’s my plan.

  • Drawer by drawer, take everything out, purge the contents, and return the keepers to the drawer. Do the same with the closet. This should create enough room for the clothes in the heap. I have to do this in small installments so I don’t wind up with a bed covered in clothes when it’s time to hit the hay.
  • DECLUTTER and clean the built-in cabinet in the hall to make room for the blankets and pillow that are now residents of the heap.
  • Clean all surfaces. The two dressers between the windows belonged to my parents. Mom’s dresser was water-damaged when it was stored in my attic. I want to repair that … maybe give both dressers a new coat of stain and wax.
  • Paint? I last painted in 2005 … we like the minty green color, but I haven’t decided if I want to change it. Probably not.
  • Install a new ceiling fixture, possibly the light and fan that used to be in the breakfast room. Or I might buy a nice new fixture.
  • Install new white cellular shades. I already bought these, just like the ones in the library. Love ’em.
  • Lastly, the event that triggered all this ambition—we’re buying a new mattress, and Eric’s making a platform bed. We can’t wait to sleep in a nice, firm bed again!

You can see Duke in his bed in one of the pictures above. He sleeps like a puppy and snores like a man on his pillow-top, memory foam mattress, and we’re jealous. His bed  takes up nearly all available floor space, and it will stay where it is.


I know I can DECLUTTER the room, but how long will it take? I want to be done by the end of February. I had good intentions to start last weekend … but then it warmed up to over 60° and I got distracted and spent the day in the garden. But that’s okay, because I took the triangle garden from this …

triangle garden overgrown

to this:

triangle garden clean

Obviously, I am better at DECLUTTERing the garden. And since that’s also on my 2015 to-do list, it’s all good, right?







13 thoughts on “2015 word of the year

  1. Eric Shellgren

    One of the things that is driving me to build a platform bed for the bedroom is that I can build under-bed storage drawers so there will be even more space to store her shoes. 🙂

  2. Karen B.

    They say the way to tackle anything that seems huge, is by taking the first step. You, my friend, have taken it by committing to tackling this. I believe you can do it! You and Eric accomplish more around the house in 1 month than most do in a year. I’m not a saver and sometimes that makes me sad, I’ve actually given away things that I’ve later needed. Compulsive? No, why do you ask?
    I wish you luck and determination.

    1. D'Arcy H Post author

      Karen, thanks for your vote of confidence. Exposing one’s shortcomings on a blog can be a good motivator! I can’t fail in front of the whole world! 🙂

  3. Jessica@CapeofDreams

    Good luck with this project. You will feel so much better when it’s done! I don’t know if you could keep your shoes somewhere else, but I keep only the ones I wear regularly in the bedroom and the rest are in the basement. Keeping stuff out of the bedroom is my main goal. I want it to be calming.

  4. Jo

    I have never actually had a bedroom that wasn’t the catchall room but now I’m anticipating the haven, too. End of February seems like an ambitious goal but you’ve got Eric who seems to be on board. I keep from getting sidetracked on a project like this by making a list of even the smallest tasks. Such a great room to improve. Jo @ Let’s Face the Music

  5. Tom & Judy

    D’Arcy, your bedroom looks like 3 or 4 rooms of our home. I inherited antique furniture from my Aunt, a bunch of collectible vintage items from my Brother, plus I am a pack rat. I wouldn’t dare put pictures of my rooms out in “blogosphere” even if I could get in them far enough to take pictures. Does that give you an idea of just how bad they are? At one time I entertained the idea of a garage sale, but now there is too much for that. Then I thought I would sell all of the collectibles on e-Bay or Craig’s List, but that involves all kinds of work, plus I don’t want perfect strangers roaming around my home. Tom said that would be one of the first things we did when he retired. Well guess what, it still awaits our determination to get it cleared out. We will over come this but it will take one drawer or closet at a time. Keep us posted on your progress and maybe it will inspire me. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Rosietta

    Don’t worry most us falls have a lot of clothes and struggle on where to or them along with accessories. Sometimes it’s about finding a way to better organize your things so that you can find them and use them. I think the platform bed will transform your room and significantly declutter it. Not having closets, especially of the walk in variety, leaves a lady to have to resort to three dressers. A good purge is good now and then though.


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